Who Starts Startups?

One of the interesting things about the online tools we use is that they are able, without so much as a prompt, to accumulate and store incredible amounts of hard data about our backgrounds and everyday lives. For those with natural sky-is-falling/ conspiracy theory inclinations, this is potentially a very bad thing. If you count yourself among that crowd, we suggest you check out our brief post on Anonymous in the hopes that you might be able to unearth some kindred spirits.

This slightly cheeky reference shouldn't suggest that we don't believe that risks exist. Whether it is from the companies themselves, governments or hackers, there is of course some degree of danger inherent in so much of the information governing and documenting our lives living in perpetuity in code form. However, despite risks, there are also some very interesting and less than nefarious uses such information can be put to. For example, we have written about Merriam-Webster's data mining of word searches in an attempt to link them to current events. And frequent readers will remember our attempt to coin a new term based on the use of Google's data by e-conomists.

We came across another good example of this today from LinkedIn's blog. The employment networking site was able to drill down into the profiles of 13,000 startup founders (defined as those who identify themselves as founders (or co-founders) of U.S. companies created after 2000, with a LinkedIn company profile, and that currently have between 2 – 200 employees) to figure out who starts startups.

What did they find? The infographic here will give the curious a good visual of the results. For anyone who doesn't want to click over, most of the individuals highlighted reside on the coasts, have LinkedIn connections to VC's and have tech companies listed in their profiles. Oh yeah, many of them went to schools like Stanford, Harvard and Sloan.

While these are hardly shockers, there was one bit of information that those who think that Mark Zuckerberg is the prototype will find interesting: most startup founders are over age 30. Apparently there is hope for Blawgconomics yet. Anyone interesting in diving a bit deeper into this topic can view author Monica Rogati's presentation from StartupFest 2011 here.

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